Social media continue to grow as a go-to source for both job seekers and the employers looking to hire them.
That's not surprising, considering how much social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn have become part of users' daily lives in and out of the workplace.
But a new report from Burlingame-based careers site Jobvite shows just how important the social tools have become.
The job site's 2012 Social Job Seeker Survey showed more job seekers both the unemployed and the employed-but-looking are using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to help find work.
Job seekers are opening multiple social networking profiles and using the platforms to connect with new contacts, share job opportunities and receive job referrals.
A crowded job market has pushed more job seekers to use social networks for leads and to get in front of employers, Dan Finnegan, Jobvite's chief executive officer, said in a statement announcing the report.
"With fierce competition for jobs, which now includes a majority of employed people on top of active job seekers, social media has become a critical tool for job hunting and career growth," Finnegan said.
Consider that more than half of job seekers surveyed 52 percent used Facebook to help find a new job in 2012, up from 48 percent in 2011.
Nearly four in 10 job seekers used LinkedIn in 2012, many to update their profiles, search for work, or provide their profiles on job applications or during job interviews. That's up from just 27 percent a year ago.
Meanwhile, 34 percent of job seekers took to Twitter in 2012, compared with 26 percent in 2011, with most using the platform to update their profiles with professional information, search for jobs and research potential employers.
A full 88 percent of job seekers have at least one social networking profile, according to the Jobvite survey. Nearly two in three have two profiles, while 44 percent of respondents carried three profiles.
Employers are even more active in the social space, recent Jobvite research indicated. More than nine in 10 92 percent of firms contacted by Jobvite use LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter to recruit prospective employees.
Companies found 73 percent of their new hires through social networks.
The result: "Maintaining your online presence and keeping employment top-of-mind at all times are vital to professional success," Finnegan said. "Those who don't engage through Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter will quickly find themselves falling behind."
Job Journal career fair
Job Journal's fall HIREvent career fair comes to Sacramento on Oct. 23.
The free fair is noon to 4 p.m., at Crowne Plaza of Sacramento, 5321 Date Ave., near Madison Avenue and Interstate 80. Job seekers can meet with private- and public-sector employers at the career event and receive free résumé evaluations from employment experts.
For more information, visit JobJournal.com or call the Job Journal's Job Search Information Line at (888) 843-5627.
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Is your company hiring? Is your organization hosting a career fair? Is your campus rolling out a job skills program? Contact Job Front at firstname.lastname@example.org.